The Online Mod/ern/ist Archive

archive of original modernist recollections and information .
we are glad to hear from anyone with memories of the time, but we do not rewrite history .

29 Jan 2008

Are you a Mod or a Rocker ? - 1963

Pass the test !
(but we won't divulge our results !!)

thanks to Alvaro & Mocky Dimples for this early article from Motor Cycle magazine Dec. 1963

28 Jan 2008

Elegancia 1964

Alvaro & Mocky
Dimples have sent these great scans of a Spanish magazine called Blanco y Negro dated 11th July 1964.

Thanks !

24 Jan 2008

London Shopping

Back in 1965, US magazine Teen’s Robyn Guest tries to catch what’s left of mod and follow a girls' trio through the streets of London.

Silly article, nice pics.

Christine Rout, Susanne Frost and Louise Freeman are our guides …

CARNABY STREET : A quaint narrow strip of stores that caters to the very get-ahead crowd. This is where the teens trample over each other ever shopping day to buy what they can afford in the latest Mod styles.

Boy-watching is just as popular as window-shopping, at least it seems so for Louise.

The Stephen House caters to record fans as well as to gals who buy the Mod clothes.

Well, let’s have a closer look. HER CLOTHES inside a store for HIS CLOTHES.
Why not ?

It’s common for boys to shop with their girlfriends. Each selects the other’s clothing.

“It’s as much fun to look at the boys’ clothes as it is our own. Lots of times I’ve gone shopping just looking at what the male side of our sex is wearing. That way we can tell which boys are ‘in’ when we meet them at parties or other places.”

(Which shows how Mod logic works.)

22 Jan 2008

Stagger Lee

The Isleys, London mods and a gun ...

18 Jan 2008

Blues in England - Part Two

T-Bone Walker

Live at the Klooks Kleek 1965

by Tony Lennane - From Blues Unlimited - April 1965 Issue

Just a few weeks short Klooks from West Hampstead station is the Railway Hotel, home of Klooks Kleek, a rather posher-than-usual R n’B club.

It is located on the first floor, bars and carpets everywhere: not the kind of place I would have expected to see T-Bone Walker.

See him I did.

This was one of Klooks better nights. By nine pm it was quite packed, though little known to the present generation of beat enthusiasts, there was quite a lot of genuine appreciation evident that night. It was March 9th; the doors were opened at 8.00 pm and we were allowed in for a very reasonable 7/- (how do they manage it ?)

Our first entertainers, and entertain they did, were the “Bluesbreakers” led by John “heart and soul in my music” Mayall, a true musician deeply involved in the true traditions of the American Negro.

I feel just recognition should be given where it is rightly due. Here is a man who knows the music, in fact a true enthusiast of the pure blues, definitely the best group we are fortunate in having here in Britain.*

After having been told of T-Bones appearance having been set for a full hour at the end of the evening between 10 and 11 pm, he appeared without warning at approximately 9 o’clock for the first of the two sets of the day.

First we were to be impressed by a five-minute guitar instrumental which, though, simple in construction , had us all rockin’. Once again credit is due to the boys for a very able backing. T-Bone told me later “they have a true feeling for the blues”.

He liked the boys, as he explained later in the bar, over a gin and orange.

The highlights of the evening were the two numbers he featured on the “Original American Folk-Blues Festival” (Polydor LPHM 237-597), “I wanna see my baby” and “I’m in love”, both among my particular favorites by T-Bone.

Other exciting – if commercial – numbers to be performed for our eager ears included the rock classic of the fifties “Linda Loo”, originally recorded by the now unheard Ray Sharp, and “T-Bone Shuffle”, an item remembered from his Atlantic label employ.

After half-time in yonder bar we pushed our weary way to the front to find John Mayall running through a few popular R n’B items – “My Babe” etc…etc…etc… T-Bone appeared to back John for a few numbers before taking the spotlight himself.

To end the night of unforgettable music we were given a form of Hooker-cum-Reed-cum-Walker “Boogie Riff”. It took 4 encores and nigh on twelve minutes before he finally disappeared behind the door, to appear very briefly with a bow and a broad smile.

This was a night never to be forgotten, and for Klooks Kleek I sincerely hope, a paying one.

More performances by visiting US artists to such as the Kleek club will undoubtedly bring out the best in all of them, thus rewarding the bluesophile with better than the average shows.

T-Bone’s tour of Britain proves to be quite comprehensive, as he is taking in all 3 TV channels and travelling from his London hotel (The Imperial) to perform everywhere from

the Cliffs Pavilion Southend to

the Regency Ballroom Bath, via

Market Hall, St. Albans,

Club-A-GoGo, Newcastle;

Dungeon Club, Nottingham;

Twisted Wheel, Manchester;

The Whiskey-A-GoGo, Birmingham;

Ricky Tick, Windsor;

Doghouse Club, Harrow;

Crawdaddy, Richmond

and many other colourful places with such names as

Cooks Ferry Inn,

Concord South Bank Jazz Club,

Public Hall,

Chelsea College and

Trade Union Hall !

Quite a selection ……

T-Bone spent two evening in full rehearsal with his group at the Marquee Club in Wardour St., London prior to his opening night at the Flamingo, which lacked the spark of his Klooks performance, a night that ignited a blaze of new interest in one of the greatest of old time bluesmen.

* Note that, as the “Bexhill Observer” so rightly says, “Any opinions stated by our correspondents do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial staff.” So don’t plague us with letters (as once happened).

15 Jan 2008

Young Londoners

by Jane Wilson - from Len Deighton's London Dossier

Young Londoners fall into two main groups which are divided by the usual distinctions of age, occupation and money.

First there are the teenagers, referred to generically as ‘mods’. Clearly some are modder than others, but if you watch the crowd scenes in the various television programmes devoted to pop, you will get the general idea of the current fashions in this group. (Boys on these programmes whose fancy dress appears to be fancier than most, and girls of immodest appearance, are probably not mods at all but specially hired to give colour to the proceedings.) Mods like to look as much like one another as possible, and their girls are rather demure. Elder mods are sometimes as old as twenty-two. No one knows what happens to old mods because we haven’t had a whole generation of them yet. Presumably they marry, have children, and settle down to form the backbone of England.

Mods continue to earn more than their parents ever did when young, and they spend their money almost exclusively on pop records and clothes. The correct attitude in this group is exceedingly cool, almost blank. The young girls may scream occasionally at the pop group of their choice, and the boys may have the odd Saturday night or Bank Holiday punch-up, but emotional behaviour or any kind of frolicking is otherwise unseemly. They are not strictly chaste – but the girls are preparing for a white wedding. Mods don’t go to bistros, they prefer the Gold Egg type of restaurant. Wherever you see gigantic orange light fittings and décor which looks like one huge fruit machine, you will know that the mods are inside eating square meals in round buns. Mods’ night-life ends around midnight during the week. They have nine-to-five jobs and live at home, so they don’t go to the expensive late-night discothèques.

The mods are responsible, as principal consumers, for the progress of pop music, and the tabernacle and heart of London’s blood music is the Marquee Club at 90 Wardour Street, w1. The entrance is murky and the air inside is hot, damp and salty. If you really like pop music and can survive in unconditioned air, you should investigate this place…

… The Marquee moved about three years ago from its old premises in Oxford Street to this new larger outfit.

In Oxford Street they used to announce every night how many people were in the club ‘LADIES AND GENTLEMEN – TONIGHT, AN ALL-TIME RECORD! THERE ARE 874 OF US IN HERE!’

The Stones, in the days when they really were dirty, had their first central London club engagement at the old Marquee. Rhythm’n Blues in England began there with the late Cyril Davis, who died a few years ago from pneumonia after being stranded in the rain on the way to a gig somewhere.

His music was much harsher and harder than anything around now, and the Marquee then was not exactly fashionable. There were always a lot of old, ugly and unexplained people around.

Some nights the rucksack-beard-and-bedding-roll group would arrive from hitchin in some unknown Thumb Country, and there was usually a sort of habitué circle of Negroes with hip flasks dancing in front of the bandstand.

The Negroes have moved on now to the Flamingo and All-Nighter Club in Lower Wardour Street, home of Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, and Zoot Money and The Big Roll Band.

The hitch-hikers have disappeared altogether from the beat-club scene. They were the extremist end of the Rocker tribe, which is now almost extinct. But you can still see nomads in Trafalgar Square outside the National Gallery on a summer afternoon.

They are filthy and hairy and lost, and they sit there nursing their blistered feet after a trek from god knows where. Most of them grow out of it and get over it, but they suffer for their art and make a change sometimes from the neat little mass-produced mods.

These mods, the ones who care more about The Look than The Sound, congregate nightly at a place called Tiles just a block down Oxford Street from Tottenham Court Road.

The music of Steve Darbishire and The Yum Yum Band, or of Everett of England, or the Anteeks, is relayed out into the street via speakers placed in neighbouring shop doorways.

Inside they dance actively, and spend their money in the night-time shops built in the maze of corridors that surround the main dance floor. The birds’ clothes shop is called Plumage, and if you’re not a success on arrival you can nip in there and come out again in something new.

On nights when there’s no live music they still crowd near the bandstand and listen to the patter of the tiny DJ. But they dance less and inspect one another’s clothing more.

The girls gather in serious little groups and tell one another the price of things, and the boys go peacocking around catching their own reflections in the glass swing doors.

Wall-to-wall mirrors in this welter of narcissism would send the sales of plumage for both sexes up by 50 per cent – or bring the whole enterprise to a halt.

... to be continued